C. HamptonJones, artist [hamptonjonescollages]
How and why did you begin to be creative?
At school I always scored high grades for my art. I got myself a fast reputation as an artist.
Your mind is your work tool. How do you take care of it?
I keep it sharp by reading a lot and learning a lot. Most of my art is now done on my PC. To learn to work my art on a PC took me a long time and blood sweat and a lot of impatience and patience. I drink coffee to keep dementia at bay.
How do you avoid repeating yourself, or falling into formula? How do you stay fresh?
There is no avoiding repeating oneself when one has to express oneself in art. E.G. a portrait painter paints many faces. There may be some uniqueness in the way I work, but it does not mean I don't repeat myself. Repeating oneself is the basis of having one's own style.
I don't understand the word 'fresh.' After I have created something, it's 'fresh.' Every creation is new, even if it may be some sort of repetition.
Do you have a ritual like retiring to a lonely place from time to time to cleanse your mind?
I like to work without the distraction of noise, people, music or voices, but if you live within the closeness of a family those distractions cannot be avoided. I just make do with the situation. You won't hear me shout in indignation when some one comes in and does not close the door silently. I'm like an Arab: I can close my mind for the thing around me and disappear into my own mind.
What cultural sources do you draw from the most?
Pictures of all sorts. Photographs, Internet pictures etc. Whatever shos an image.
Who have your teachers been?
All the art teachers at different schools, teachers at 'Famous Artists', Teachers at uni, teachers when I followed courses they are all part of the artist I'm now.
When you accept a job, how much value do you place on each of the following? Money, creative liberty, visibility, and to work with the best.
It's creative liberty I look for. I don't need the money as I'm part of a Team and we take care of each other. Working with the best does not have my interest. Visibility is nice, but my art is mainly my own creative process. I'm a lucky person.
Have you ever had a job that was so stimulating that you could not get your mind off of it?
I'm always focused on my art, whether it's writing or creating my collages or other art. I cannot put my mind off it when I cannot get it done right. Sometimes I have to accept that failure and I move on. Sometimes one has to accept that nobody can always deliver perfect art all the time.
"To give birth to ideas." Is this only an expression, or are there really parallels between giving birth and creativity?
Well, to give birth may be as difficult sometimes as being able to follow-up on an idea. Not always, though.
Does spirituality contribute to your creativity?
Spirituality is a very personal thing. Of course it may pop-up in my art, once and a while. I don't keep my art away from my spirituality or my spirituality from my art.
It is possible to fall in love with a bad idea simply because it is yours. How do you avoid this?
I'm very realistic so if there is something that may be seen as a bad idea I can let go of it easily.
Must someone be the leader or boss in order for a creative team to function well?
I like to work alone. When I am part of a creative team, I'm mostly leading it. Most artists believe very much in their own achievements, which makes them hard to work with. Criticism is hard to take, most of the time.
I'm 'old' and experienced and I think I know what I want or what I'm talking about. I have a problem allowing other people within my creative processes.
Declaration: With what person or business would you like to work?
I would not know what to answer there. Whatever I do is so much my own that I would not know whom I might share it with, except for my readers.
What criteria do you use when selecting someone to be a part of your creative team?
I think it is important that people are flexible. I dislike 'prima donnas.' I like them to be able to follow instructions even when those are not entirely within their own artistic scope. I need people to listen to what is wanted, not what they want. That is hard. Artists are a stubborn breed.
The armchair psychologist: Is creativity an act of rebellion for you?
No. my art is an expression of myself. I'm not a rebellious person any more. We do that when we are about 17, but then we learn, don't we?
What is the best advertisement you've seen recently?
The boy as Dart Vader in the car ad.
Do you work well under pressure?
Yes, I am very disciplined, I just work until I've done what I have to do. Pressure does not bothr me.
What city in the world currently attracts you due to its creative environment?
Most cities are just ugly with too much traffic. A city attracts me because of a beautiful exhibition. I'd like to go to St. Petersburg in Russia one day. Preferably alone.
How is an idea sold?
You are asking strange questions. I'm not an architect to sell a design. If people don't like what I create, just go and look elsewhere.
What do you feel when, after two or three years, you see an idea of yours again?
I hope it remained mine, with all the rights that are mine. Sometimes I see a painting that I threw away on somebody's wall. I'm glad somebody liked it enough to take it out of a bin. I mostly feel suprise.
Ideas can come simultaneously to different people in different places with no connection to one another. How do you explain this phenomenon?
Maybe there is nothing new under the sun?
You are as good as your last idea. Wouldn't you like to have a more secure type of work?
Ah, no. I had a secure type of work and I hated it. I like the freedom of what I do and who I m now.
C. HamptonJones, artist